Jerko and Villa Jerkan were wonderful!
My wife and I stayed at Villa Jerkan for three nights at the beginning of our honeymoon in July, 2009. When we arrived (after midnight), we were greeted warmly by Jerko with a carafe of red wine. Over the next hour, we drank and talked with Jerko in the majestic, open-air patio on the ground floor of his hotel facing the Adriatic Sea. Jerko was extremely friendly--a funny and charming ex-sailor eager to learn about our lives and to tell us stories of his own. During our stay, Jerko invited us into his own home not far from the hotel. We met his wife and his dog (a Jack Russell named...Jack!), enjoyed an afternoon drink of Croatian liquor in his parlor, ate huge juicy peaches from his peach trees, and toured his olive garden. Throughout our entire stay, we found Jerko to be extremely pleasant and totally genuine. We've travelled a fair amount in Europe (my wife even lived there for a time). Jerko was the best host either of us has ever met.
Besides Jerko, the hotel was excellent. The entire building was immaculately clean. Our room and bathroom very big (by European standards) and tastefully furnished with marble (maybe it was travertine or something else...I don't remember) and cool blue and green colors. We had a nice-sized balcony on the top floor that faced the Adriatic. Sunrises and sunsets by the tops of the palm trees were incredible. It was great to have meals on the balcony as well (there's a grocery not far from the hotel...be careful crossing the road!) Fresh fruit, yogurt, bread, olives, cheese, pizza, beer, wine, etc. looking out over the drowsy Adriatic in July...
Podstrana was also excellent. It's a peaceful, down-tempo stretch of beachfront villas, small boats, restaurants, and cafes along the Adriatic. Despite this amazing location, it had zero pretension. We loved walking along the coast to find a place to relax for a drink or just to take in the people on a summer night. It's a short ride into Split, which is certainly worth a day of sight-seeing and eating...amazing octopus salad. From Split, you can easily take day trips on car or passenger ferries to places like Brac and Hvar (stay a couple nights here if you can...). We had a car and found that getting around Croatia was ridiculously easy despite the fact that words and place-names generally have eighteen consonants per one vowel.
Overall, we would highly recommend staying at Villa Jerkan to other couples or small families who travel well together. If it helps to put things in context, my wife and I are Americans. When we travelled to Podstrana, she was twenty-six and I was twenty-eight. She was a grad student, and I worked in an elementary school. We were traveling on a budget. Like I said earlier, we had travelled some in Europe before. We were living in Honolulu (Waikiki) at the time, and, yes, we were that impressed by the natural beauty of Podstrana, the Croatian coast-line, and the Croatian interior (Plitvice National Park is heavenly...). Jerko is an amazing host. The hotel is beautiful. Podstrana is a perfect launch pad to explore Split and the surrounding areas.
The only disclaimers I would put on Villa Jerkan are:
-Don't be surprised if you miss the driveway the first one or two times. We came in late, and it was a bit hard to see.
-If you're going to the grocery store (...or Jerko's house!), be careful crossing the main road. It's madness at times.
Ben and Meagan
New York City, NY
-If you meet Jack, watch out. He's got sharp, little dog teeth! (Just kidding...he was a puppy then.)
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Jerkan Croatia/Podstrana